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Oh No Not a Music Review

April 17, 2009

by Wyatt MacKenzie
Oh No Not a Music Review

Oh No Not Stereo is a band that’s going places. You can tell because they send unsolicited promo CDs to out of date addresses for campus papers that don’t review music. Luckily for Oh No Not Stereo, I snatched the Forum’s copy of their latest masterpiece, 003, from the air as it flew, unopened, towards the Story House trashcan. Unluckily for them, I went on to listen to it. I won’t pretend I listened to the entire 50 minute album because I don’t want you to think I’m retarded, but I listened to more than enough. I say ‘more than enough’ because ‘enough’ was a line I crossed about 20 seconds into album opener “Let’s Get It Started,” when whoever the hell their vocalist is first opened my eyes to new vistas of mediocrity with his ability to sound both corny and cliché at the same time as he alternately droned and shouted about a standoffish girl he wanted to bang or maybe a bro he wanted to hang with. If you care enough to figure it out maybe you should be the reviewer. At this point it became clear to me that I was not cut out for a track by track review of this album. Nevertheless, I forged on and listened to a good quarter of the album before writing this review. 003 is defined by its extraordinary ability to synthesize genres. I don’t mean like Animal Collective or The Clash either. Oh No Not Stereo manages to simultaneously showcase every bad influence imaginable. It’s equal parts frat-rock, power-pop, and emo with a generous helping of saccharine piano riffs tossed in for no apparent reason. Basically it sounds like what would happen if Nickelback’s tour bus crashed into a Hot Topic. Alongside their grab bag of influences, Oh No Not Stereo uses roughly ten times as many instruments as a normal band, unwilling to settle for the same ones two songs in a row. This is clearest on what could be construed as the album’s bright point, “Hurricanes,” which showcases their ability to play a million fucking instruments at once without making even one of them sound good. One acoustic guitar, two electric guitars, drums, keyboard, a piano, and god only knows what else blend together into

a numbing wave of noise. A quick visit to the band’s myspace (where you can listen to a few of their songs) made this all the more impressive— they have only two members.  Given this I think we can forgive some of their sins.  After all, with only half as many members as a normal band we can only expect them to be half as good. As their own copy puts it, Oh No Not Stereo “embody all that is truly exciting about rock 'n' roll” and “make big, bold, beautiful noise.” I wouldn’t be humble either if I were the inventor of emo frat-pop.

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